18 Jul

Grants.gov Improves Form Behavior

On July 10th Grants.gov released some exciting changes to the behavior of several forms used in NIH opportunities.

Summary of the changes:

R&R Budget Form
• New budget period will be populated with the data from the first budget period.
• Previous Period/Next Period: Improved Navigation for Budget Periods -‐ enable navigation of previous and following years when the form is partly completed.
• Project Role (Senior Key Person section): Default to PD/PI for the first entry with the capability to over write.
• Add Additional Key Person: Clicking will add a row. Button will be disabled if all rows have been added.
• Add Additional Other Personnel: Clicking will add a row. Button will be disabled if all rows have been added.
• Funds Requested if Equipment item is entered (Removed the validation on Amount to be $5,000 or more)
• Add Additional Equipment: Clicking will add a row. Button will be disabled if all rows have been added.
• Add Additional Indirect Cost: Clicking will add a row. Button will be disabled if all rows have been added.

Senior Key Person Expanded Form
• Previous Period/Next Period: Improved Navigation -‐ enable navigation of previous and following key people when the form is partly completed.

Going forward, packages for any new Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs) will automatically pick up these changes. But wait, it gets even better? yesterday, the eRA and Grants.gov teams worked together to ensure any new package downloads for all currently posted NIH and AHRQ FOAs will also pick up the new behavior for the forms. If you downloaded an NIH or AHRQ application package before July 17 you won’t have the benefit of the new changes, but your application can still be used for submission (i.e., we didn’t break your ‘in progress’ applications).

Don’t Forget Your Inclusion Data

NIH recently changed their approach for collecting inclusion data (changed with introduction of ‘FORMS-C’ application packages). In addition to reformatting the data tables themselves, inclusion data is no longer collected in PDF attachments. Instead, each package includes new Planned Enrollment Report and Cumulative Inclusion Enrollment forms. These forms allow NIH to collect the data in a format that can be leveraged throughout the lifecycle of the application/grant.

Applicants must carefully follow application guide and supplemental instructions to ensure the new forms are included when needed.

For additional information including a handy decision tree (What is subject to the inclusion policy?), FAQs, instructions and more, see http://grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/women_min/women_min.htm.

Screens of All Sizes

Over the past few months the NIH web posting team has been busy adjusting the grants.nih.gov website, including the NIH Guide for Grants & Contracts, to make the content responsive to the various screen sizes of phones, phablets, tablets, laptops, desktops and other electronic devices.

Researchers may have noticed that newer FOAs have a different look. Some aspects of the old format (e.g., table structure) did not allow for easy page resizing across devices and had to be reworked. The team also has to work within some constraints regarding the order and content of FOA data that is outside NIH control. Despite these challenges, we are headed in the right direction by retaining the integrity of the FOA information in a responsive format.

If you have any suggestions on improving the usability of any of our resources, please email OER@od.nih.gov. They really love feedback – especially specific, actionable steps they can do to improve.

Yes – I trust it, please just let me submit it!

Has this ever happened to you? You are submitting your grant application forms to Grants.gov. You hit “Save and Submit” and fill out the login box, only to get a yellow box saying “Some features have been disabled to avoid potential security risks. Only enable these features if you trust this document.” So, you select ‘Trust this document always’ and start again. Then you get to repeat the process for each and every application you submit. Grants.gov recently reported that evidently, Adobe made some security enhancements a while back which introduced the scenario above. Luckily, what has been done can be undone. Go into Edit → Preferences → Security (Enhanced) and disable the ‘Enable Enhanced Security’ feature by unchecking the box next to it (it is checked by default). Afterwards, the trust confirmation message will stop popping up.